For every three individuals who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open and prevent a heart attack, at least one will experience restenosis — the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring — which can lead to additional complications.
A type of “smart stent” was developed that monitors even subtle changes in the flow of blood through the artery, detecting the narrowing in its earliest stages and making early diagnosis and treatment possible. A stent was modified to function as a miniature antenna and a micro-sensor was added that continuously tracks blood flow. The data can then be sent wirelessly to an external reader, providing constantly updated information on the artery’s condition.
The device uses medical-grade stainless steel and looks similar to most commercial stents. The angioplasty-ready smart stent can be implanted using current medical procedures without modifications.